I am reading a book at the moment.......if you can call propping my eyes open with matchsticks to get through a couple of pages when I've gone to bed way too late and am about to pass out from tiredness reading..........um, where was I? Oh yeah, my book, it's called In Defence Of Food, by Michael Pollan.
Now just typing that up, my pc gave the auto-correct red line....huh? Defence, or is it Defense? Right, dictionary out. Ah, Defense is the US spelling of Defence.
Ok, that out of the way, Michael Pollan writes about the Western diet and the way our Western diet has become less about actual food and more about science and food-like substances.
And we all know what problems the modern day Western diet can bring.
At one point in the book he sets out some guidelines that we would all do well to follow in regards to food.
Here's the first one: Don't eat anything your Great Grandmother wouldn't recognise as food.
(Mr Pollan's example was yogurt, back in the day that was a one ingredient food, milk. Now if you pick up a carton of perhaps fruit flavoured yogurt and read the ingredients yes it will contain milk, but may also contain gelatin, stabilisers, sugar or other sweeteners, flavours, colours, corn starch and others. Reading that list, would your Great Grandmother recognise it as yogurt?)
Next one: Avoid food products containing ingredients that are A) Unfamiliar, B) Unpronounceable, C) More than 5 in number or that include D) High-Fructose corn syrup.
(Not necessarily harmful in and of themselves, but each one is a marker for foods that have been highly processed. For example a particular bread ingredients list reads: enriched bleached flour (wheat flour, malted barley flour, niacin, iron, thiamin mononitrate, riboflavin, water, whole wheat flour, rice flour, rice bran), high fructose corn syrup, whey, wheat gluten, yeast, cellulose, honey, calcium sulfate, soybean and/or cottonseed oil, salt, butter, dough conditioners, guar gum, calcium propionate, distilled vinegar, yeast nutrients, corn starch, natural flavour, colour, vitamin D, soy lecithin, soy flour. Whew! Would your Great Grandmother recognise that list as being bread? Uh, no.)
Then: Shop the peripheries of the supermarket and stay out of the middle.
(Traditionally, processed foods are in the center aisles and fresh foods are set at the edges.)
And: Get out of the supermarket whenever possible.
Obviously there are exceptions, such as would our Great Grandmothers recognise the traditional cuisine from another country? Well, some no doubt would but many others I'm sure would not. And aforementioned cuisines may well come with some unpronounceable ingredients which are none-the-less natural, whole foods. So, you get the idea? This is the book...
And this is where you can get it...
Or you might be able to find it at your local library like I did. Although mine has a different cover and different spelling of Defense/Defence, in deference to being in Orstralia no doubt, hehehe...
And here's a health inducing picture to set you on your way...
Yikes, I better get to bed, it's late and I have my matchsticks ready.....